Dealing With Data Center Cable Management Issues? Try These Best Practices
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Dealing With Data Center Cable Management Issues? Try These Best Practices

By CIOReview | Monday, July 26, 2021

Most IT teams well understand the role of cable management in the data center. Increased operating overhead, slower deployments, troubleshooting issues, and even unplanned downtime can all result from disorganized ‘spaghetti’ cabling. Poorly handled patch cables can also obstruct airflow, raise energy costs, and put equipment at risk of overheating.

However, many conventional cable management techniques are no longer successful in today's highly complex IT world. There's more to track as rack densities rise and multi-hop connections become more common. Methods that rely on manual labor and spreadsheets are no longer sufficient. Many companies are now gradually transitioning from copper to fiber-optic cabling, resulting in a hybrid system that meets various needs.

Given these concerns, businesses should carefully prepare and incorporate network infrastructure and establish a long-term maintenance strategy. Here are six best practices for dealing with the most common data center cable management issues.

1.Consider Cable Management When Designing the Network

Many network design choices, such as port density and switch placement in the rack, affect cable management. Is copper or fiber going to be used? How easily will capacity be added to the network? A variety of variables should be considered as early as possible to ensure a smooth implementation and streamlined management.

2. Validate the Design

On paper, it seems to be a smart idea, but will it succeed in practice? Make sure there are enough connections and the right type of connectors before purchasing equipment or cables. It is all too easy to skip this phase, which leads to delays in implementation.

3. Calculate Cable Lengths Carefully

The old carpenter's rule of thumb refers to cabling as well: "measure twice, cut once." Using the correct cable length for each run reduces congestion and simplifies installation and troubleshooting. It also saves money.

4. Create an Easy-to-Read Installation Plan

In certain instances, the implementation would be delegated to an infrastructure or operations department or even a third party. Installation instructions that are vague or confusing can lead to costly rework and mistakes. Every cable and connector type should be included in the installation plan, along with specific link instructions.

5. Choose the Right Management Solutions

The right cable connections, D-ring managers, cable tray raceway systems, ladder rack runway systems, and other components will help save time and money in the long run.

6. Keep Documentation Up-to-Date

It is more difficult to troubleshoot connectivity problems, manage equipment, and provision new services with inaccurate, out-of-date patch cabling documents.